Curious and Curiouser

by The Bookshop Band

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Artwork by Mikey Please, case designed by Ben Please, printed and cut by Opal, and insert printed by Richard Lawrence.

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1.
Follow to a hole Falling for a while Passing vertically One side makes you grow One side makes you small What size should one be? Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem Queer old smoking caterpillar What does all this mean? Asking questions why No sense did she find Alice wanders on Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem Weeping turtle sleepy mouse It must be time for tea Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem The Queen of Hearts is furious This life is but a dream Off with all their heads Painting flowers red There’ll be no one left Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem The Queen of Hearts is furious This life is but a dream x2 Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem The Queen of Hearts is furious
2.
Flight Fight sharp claws spike, through Bright eyes cold light shine, too Dark lane, men’s face take shape, Dark matter decends on you, Dark lane, men’s face take shape, Dark matter decends on you, You’d better Watch your back You’d better Watch your back Swords clash red black white skin and fur Slice pounce bite grip rip fists hit purr The fight lights a fire in me Like night it grows steadily You think I’m done but soon you’ll see The fight lights a fire in me The fight lights a fire in me Throw what you’ve got, I’m ready You and your wretched fantasies The fight lights a fire in me You’d better Watch your back You’d better Watch your back Everyone is on the hunt Watch your back Everyone is on the hunt Watch your back
3.
Her: God speed fair Helena, wither away? Hel: Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair! Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. Sickness is catching: O, were favour so, Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go; My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye, My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody. Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, The rest I'd give to be, to you translated. O, teach me how you look, and with what art You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. Her: I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. Hel: O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill! Her: I give him curses, yet he gives me love. Hel: O that my prayers could such affection move! Her: The more I hate, the more he follows me. Hel: The more I love, the more he hateth me. Her: His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. Hel: None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine! Her: Take comfort: he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this place.
4.
Edward was a man of scientific acclaim But he was tainted by past of his family name He wanted a clean slate with his baby soon to be So he invented, a time machine As his wife calls to him for tea He says I’m off to change history But I’ll be back in a moment or two….. But who could? He could Edward Oxford He leapt through time and landed in old London town Bonnets and top hats, on the people milling round, They were they to see the queen, and he was there to save his name But distracted by a future self and slow to intervene. As he tried to stop his man The gun slipped in their hands And they shot Queen Victoria But who could? They could The Edward Oxfords In the scuffle his ancestor was impaled upon the fence Edward actions caused, a new chain of events Edward looks around, and sees his past is all fucked up There’s every chance he wont exist and wont be going back He’s going to restore History as it was before No mater, what is takes But who could? He would Edward Oxford As he Sprung around in time trying to fix what he has done But he ends up making thing much worse, and frightening everyone He tried to stop himself, but only got in the way It didn’t matter who he hurt, and caused havoc in his wake And history has changed For the sake of a name Which doesn’t exist any more But who would? He would Edward Oxford His wife is stuck in time, somewhere waiting with his tea Its amazing what will make a man commit atrocities He thought it was a simple task and he was coming back But Edward Oxford turned into Spring Heeled Jack A lesson for us all Don’t time travel at all But if you do, then don’t kill anyone But who would? He would Edward Oxford
5.
Sail over Battersea in your velocipeade Show off your skills in the air Don't let Technologists catch you and saw of bits What are they building in there? It's such a joy to be in my velocipeade Flying as high as a bird Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I've heard Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I've heard London’s not meant to be The way it turned out to be God didn’t save the Queen-o Talking dogs on the streets, Bloody parakeets, Exploding wolves, don't you know Who'd have thought Nightingale Would side with all those males Making a hash of us all Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I've heard Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I've heard
6.
I can subhear you speaking with your mind So many pathways waiting for a sign How can I hear you speaking with your mind? Redact a memory take it from your life Time you were here Your time is near Your time is long My timing’s wrong A script is written deep within your soul If you can open up there is a hole Receive the better, brighter memories Dark moods can spiral and they can deceive Instrumental He’s on his way Ways they can change Changing your ways Wait for a change Forget what you learn Scared you might burn Ripped from one life A fight to survive. Taken away to the other side To another life with the anchorites Taken away to the other side From the one he loved for just one night The fickle future is a grey grim glow Not enough to eat for the youth No one to follow, no great hope Write the unified truth. Take them away to the other side To another life where they can survive Take them away to the other side So the ones I love can stay alive. I want to hear you speaking with your mind So many pathways waiting for a sign How can I hear you speaking with your mind? Redact a memory now this is my life.
7.
Oberon 04:10
A silly air is in tonight A fairy’s trick, a trick of light Ill fated love, not granted true A father’s heartless matching threw For hearts deep into the night Where woodland magic will take flight And turn the hearts and turn the heads And turn the actors from their friend’ s Unfortunate plight And who to blame this mess upon? Our own dear Puck and Oberon Our own dear Puck and Oberon Oberon Oberon….. How much can change with just a slight Twist of day And turn of light With the moon such strange things can creep And when we wake should we believe our sleep? Darkness casts such dreams and tricks Confusion it does come so quick And with our dreams come strange truths And unbeknown our hearts moved on And unbeknown our hearts moved on Hearts Moved on Oberon Oberon He turned their hearts and turned their heads And turned the actors from their friend x3 And who to blame this mess upon Oberon x2 Oberon Oberon In our minds, we might forget But the body, cannot un-tell Deep inside the dream is true And marks us with it’s tale And who to blame this mess upon Oberon
8.
High, high above, the North Pole On a mountain, above the clouds, once lived a man His children, are falling, from the sky All children, except one, grow up He was born, with a gift, of laughter And a sense that the world was mad. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times Writing a song about first lines It was the age of wisdom, of foolishness It was the Season of light, season of dark Drawing the reader in right from the start It was the spring of hope, the Winter of despair The sun shone, having no, alternative It was the day, my grandmother, exploded It was a pleasure to burn The church is blowing a sad windblown ‘Kathleen’ On the bells in the skid row slums as I wake up all woebegone and goopy Transformed into a monstrous vermin It was the season of light, the season of dark Inspiration comes from The Past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times Light of my life, fire of my loins It was love at first sight, love at first sight All this happened, more or less, more or less
9.
Keep your head down Let it end for hours Throw sand into the air To fall as bricks, but you’re Not a vessel of consequence The wind is Keep your head down Let it spin for hours Sell your house And buy gold At least you’ll have something You can control The sand that we salvage Swirls like dust That chaos encourages So we just Keep our heads down Let it end for hours Keep our heads down Let it end for hours
10.
I want to laugh but I don’t know how to laugh I’m trying hard but I’m caught up in the past Knock knocking Knock knocking I’d open the door to you I’ve seen it all before and I know what I should do It’s not my imagination, I hear Knock knocking Knock knocking I’d open the door to you Can’t think what it would be To think about us see No expectations of you Or anything at all Knock knocking Knock knocking I’d open the door to you My actions are loud, much louder than my thoughts My mind won’t tell me that I could go to court I hear knock knocking Knock knocking I’d open the door to you They say it’s all to do with chance, anticipation, circumstance I hear knock knocking Knock knocking I’d open the door to you Clarinet I learnt how to cry a long long time ago It’s part of me to let the tears flow

about

The songs on "Curious and Curiouser" are inspired by contemporary and classic books with fantastical themes at heart, including Lewis Carroll’s "Alice in Wonderland", David Mitchell’s "The Bone Clocks" and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night’s Dream".

Lewis Carroll's
ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Mark Hodder's
BURTON AND SWINBURNE IN THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF
SPRING HEELED JACK

William Shakespeare's
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Mark Hodder's
BURTON AND SWINBURNE IN THE STRANGE
AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK

Mark Hodder's
BURTON AND SWINBURNE IN THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF
SPRING HEELED JACK

David Mitchell's
THE BONE CLOCKS

Stanley Donwood's
HUMOR / HOUSEHOLD WORMS

Sam Leith's
THE COINCIDENCE ENGINE


And also features lines from:

David Lodge,
Changing Places (1975)

The Garden of Evening Mists,
Tan Twan Eng (2012)

Bring up the bodies,
Hilary mantel (2012)

J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan (1911)

Raphael Sabatini
Scaramouche (1921)

Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Samuel Beckett
Murphy (1938)

Iain M. Banks
The Crow Road (1992)

Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Jack Kerouac
Big Sur (1963)

Franz Kafka
The Metamorphosis (1915)

L. P. Hartley,
The Go-Between (1953)

Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita (1955)

Joseph Heller,
Catch-22 (1961)

Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five (1969)

credits

released May 27, 2016

All tracks written by Ben Please, Beth Porter and Poppy Pitt. Except the lyrics of track 1, which are the first lines to many great books.

Produced by The Bookshop Band, except track 10 which was recorded, produced and mixed by Richard Evans at The Labour Exchange. Otherwise all recorded and mixed by Ben Please.

Mastered by Marco Migliari.

Tracks 1, 4, 6 & 7 were recorded at home, with marvellous recording engineering by James King on track 4. Tracks 2, 3, 5, 8 & 9 were recorded at Realworld Studios with set up assistance from Marco Migliari. Extra recording at Christchurch (Rode, UK), The Open Book (Wigtown), Jool’s house, Pete’s house, Emma’s house, mum’s house, Stanley Donwood’s studio, St Bride Foundation (London), The Cross Guns (Bradford-on-Avon) on New Year’s Eve (track 3) and The Royal Oak (Bath).

All tracks written by Beth Porter, Ben Please and Poppy Pitt, except track 8 by Beth Porter, Ben Please and lyrics by David Lodge, Tan Twan Eng, Hilary Mantel, J.M. Barrie, Raphael Sabatini, Charles Dickens, Samuel Beckett, Iain M. Banks, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Franz Kafka, L.P. Hartley, Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Heller & Kurt Vonnegut, and lyrics of track 3 taken from Act 1 Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. The readings in the bonus tracks 11 and 12 are used by kind permission of the authors.

Produced, mixed and recorded by Ben Please, The Bookshop Band, except track 10 which was recorded, produced and mixed by Richard Evans at The Labour Exchange. String arrangements by Beth Porter and Ben Please.
Mastered by Marco Migliari
Artwork: Mikey Yes Please
www.mikeyplease.co.uk

Inside cover photos: Ben Please & John Ruddock, in Scotland.
Case design & layout: Ben Please
Cases printed and cut by Opal Print, inserts by Richard Lawrence, disks by Key Production.

Tracks 1, 4, 6 & 7 were recorded at home, with marvellous recording engineering by James King on track 4. Tracks 2, 3, 5, 8 & 9 were recorded at Realworld Studios with set up assistance from Marco Migliari. Extra recording at Christchurch (Rode, UK), The Open Book (Wigtown), Jool’s house, Pete’s house, Emma’s house, mum’s house, Stanley Donwood’s studio, St Bride Foundation (London), The Cross Guns (Bradford-on-Avon) on New Year’s Eve (track 3) and The Royal Oak (Bath).

Those who added huge value to our recording and production process were Marco Migliari, Fiona O’Shaughnessy and Stanley Donwood, all the musicians who played with us, Brauner microphones and Louis Austin, Microtech Gefell GmbH microphones and Sound Link Pro Audio, Leigh Haggerwood, James King, Richard Evans, Will Cookson, Steve Belgrave, Mike Hillier, Stuart Bruce, Chris Hughes, Universal Audio, UA Digital and Source Distribution, Grace Designs, Realworld Studios, The Wigtown Book Festival, Nigel and Jackie, Owen Benson, Anna Botterell and Andrew Hooker Violins, Keith Lunt and co at Opal and Richard Lawrence, Vivi Tobies & Paul Walton. Big thank you to Caroline Waterlow and Ashley Harrow.

Thank you to all our Patreon supporters, past and present, including James Patterson and Alan Squire Publishing, and our song sponsors (see tracks for details). And a huge thank you to the Mikey Yes Please for creating the artwork for this album.

Thank you to Nic and Juliette Bottomley and ALL the staff at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath for curating our reading. To all the curious and curiouser places we are lucky enough to play in, the people who we meet, and of course to all the fantastic authors that have inspired us to write these songs, thank you all so much.

THE BOOKSHOP BAND

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The Bookshop Band Bath, UK

The Bookshop Band write songs inspired by books and play them in bookshops. They started as a collaboration between a group of musicians in Bath and their local independent bookshop, Mr B's Emporium. Now they are about to go on tour, sponsored by Vintage Books and Independent Booksellers Week, around other bookshops and lit fests. Catch them if you can. Details at www.thebookshopband.co.uk ... more

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